The physical structure of the poem itself conveyed the waxing and waning flow of contractions and birth. I loved the parallel experience of mother and daughter as partners in the process. Your poem reminded me that birth is a spiritual, extremely human experience...and not just a bloody mess of poop and baby and placenta. And honestly, I'm impressed you forced me consider the greater meaning and beauty of the experience, as I feel I have been permanently jaded after my rotation on Labor and Delivery.
To be perfectly honest, I have to admit that I am terrified of ever giving birth. My grandmother always says that a woman does not fully become a woman until she becomes a mother. Well, shoot, the whole thing sounds pretty terrifying. If I could build a mechanical uterus I would grow my baby, as if it were a fish in a fishbowl. I would say hi to it every morning and gawk and the coolness of its embryonic development. "Check it out, honey, the heart started beating today!" "Oh look, his neural tube closed!" Haha. Yes, I am abnormal, but you both love me anyway. Besides, if and when I do get pregnant, I plan to have my baby as a C-section and I plan to have lots of pain medication because personally the whole thing seems terrifying and I'm a huge chicken. Haha, Carrie, maybe I need to read more of your poems. :) My most profound respect to both of you for having undergone the unfathomable journey of growing someone inside your body and then bringing them into the world to make a new whole person. Amazing. Terrifying. Wow. Just wow.
First of all, I believe what you grandma meant as to becoming a real woman through motherhood had little to do with the actual birth process (or being pregnant for that matter) and more to do with the wonderful challenges and changes that come with raising (and unconditionally loving despite the alien-like look of) the "slimy alien." And by the way, your own baby never looks slimy, or alien-like :)
I did have a very different experience than you though, Carrie and I appreciate your perspective on it. I also admire how passionate you have become about getting involved in the birthing process. I love the creativity of your poem, and even though our means of delivering babies was so different, I have to say I can still relate to the underlying theme of love and amazement and of becoming partners with your baby in the little "project" that we call delivering a baby.